Political parties worldwide ask the EU to ban live animal export

Baby cows close together on the ship one lying the rest standing in dirt
Male calves have been cramped on the ship Karim Allah, photo: Talia Shipping Line / Reuters

Eighteen international political parties have urged the European Commission to follow New Zealand’s lead and ban live animal export. A week ago, New Zealand announced it would stop the export of live animals by sea because of animal welfare reasons.

“The fact is that once animals leave New Zealand by sea, we have very limited ability to ensure their well-being before they reach their destination,” New Zealand’s agriculture minister Damien O’Connor said when the ban was announced.

Every day, vessels with living cows, goats or sheep leave the European countries Spain or Romania. These shipments are hell for animals. Animals are transported in terrible conditions on journeys that can last several days, weeks or even months. 

“We have been inside these vessels. After a few days, the animals are already covered in shit,” Boada told The Animal Reader earlier about the conditions the animals live in on these ships.

Animals are sentient beings
Political parties from Europe, Canada, Australia, Israel and Brazil, sent a letter to Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, and Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, asking them to care for their European animals and follow EU animal welfare regulation.  

They ask Kyriakides and Wojciechowski to follow Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which clearly states that “the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals.”

They’re disappointed that over and over again, this fundamental “animals are sentient beings” part is being ignored when it comes to shipping animals by sea. 

The young cows who were at sea for months on the vessels the Karim Allah and Elbeik should be a wake-up call for the European Commission that immediate action is necessary to guarantee the safety of European animals.

According to the political parties, the European Parliament has made it clear many times that it wants this horrible live animal export to end, but the European Commission has been failing to act. 

They call on Kyriakides and Wojciechowski to ban live animal exports to non-EU countries, following the example of New Zealand. They also want a ban on all transport of live animals on journeys over 8 hours, between the place of departure and final destination. 

Ten years ago, Members of Parliament made the same request, following the wish of European citizens, but the Commission didn’t respond accordingly. 

The parties hope that time the European Commission will take the suffering of animals on these ships seriously and, as New Zealand has, ban them.

The letter was signed by the following European political parties: Parti Animaliste, Partij voor de Dieren, PACMA, Animal Welfare Party, Animal Party Cyprus, EOP, Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz, Veganerpartiet, PAN, Djurens parti, DierAnimal, Partito Animalista Italiano, Animal Justice Party, Animal Protection Party of Canada, Party for Animal Welfare, Κόμμα για τα Ζώα, Justice for all and ANIMAIS.

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